Gesu has designed a fresh, fully virtual celebration featuring students and Spirit Medalists. Guests will enjoy food delivery from Di Bruno Bros. Sponsorship opportunities are available and include an exclusive online class with a master chef. Join us online to support Gesu’s 450 students and as we recognize our 2021 honorees:
James F. Higgins ’45 Distinguished Alumni Award
Jonathan Jackson ’99, Gesu School Lead Counselor
Sponsorship opportunities are available:
- Click here to support the 2021 Gala now on Gesu’s dedicated sponsorship page.
- Click here to pledge your support or to pay by check.
Gesu Gala sponsors support our mission to empower North Philadelphia’s children to transcend all forms of poverty through quality education. We are especially grateful for your continued investment during this difficult year for all.
While we will miss hosting our guests in person, Gesu looks forward to an engaging experience. On the evening of our Gala, Di Bruno Bros. will deliver to sponsors' homes and the homes of your guests the “Di Bruno Bros. Tasting Experience” – an impressive charcuterie board, dessert, and a bottle of wine selected by a Di Bruno Bros. master chef. In addition to the virtual Gala event, sponsors are invited to join Gesu and Jen Carroll, Celebrity Chef and Bravo Top Chef All-Star, for an exclusive online cooking class (date and time TBA).
Thank you to our Gala Co-Chairs--John & Jennifer Curry and Dr. Larry Wells & Dr. Bernadette Wheeler--and the 2021 Gala Committee for their efforts on behalf of Gesu students.
215 763 9077
About the Gesu Gala
The Gesu Gala is an annual fundraiser that supports Gesu School in its mission to help North Philadelphia’s children to transcend all forms of poverty through a comprehensive, innovative education. The Gesu Gala supports forward-thinking academic and extracurricular programming that empowers students to develop their strengths, overcome challenges, and become positive, engaged members of the community and the world.
We are grateful to our 2021 Gesu Gala sponsors for their generous support of this event and their dedication to quality education in North Philadelphia.
The Hamilton Family Charitable Trust
Susan Martinelli Shea
Dr. Larry Wells & Dr. Bernadette Wheeler
Craig & Jean Burns
Peter Gould & Robin Potter
Karen & Kevin Lucey
The Rogers & Buck Families
Pat & Allan Murphy
Christine & Leif Beck
James F. ‘45 & Donna M. Higgins
1919 Investment Counsel
Jennifer & John Curry
Kate Hovde & Ken Kulak
Andy & Karen Cavacos
Rard & Judy Davies
Jack & Tammy Dodds
Bob & Anne McAlaine
Kay & Jerry O’Grady
Steve Piltch & Sunny Greenberg
Eilise & Bill Rouse
Saint Joseph’s University
The Z Foundation
About the Gesu Spirit Medal
The Gesu Spirit Medal honors individuals and organizations who have shown extraordinary commitment to Gesu School through their loyal advocacy and actions, and who have made a significant contribution to Gesu School’s success as a model inner-city elementary school.
Since 1992, the Hamilton family has been committed to improving educational opportunities for children and youth, a mission originally established by Dorrance (Dodo) Hamilton and Samuel M. V. Hamilton, parents and grandparents of the family Trustees, and their three children. Mrs. Hamilton believed that equality in education was one of the most important social issues of her time and that a strong education system was essential to developing a thriving economy and a higher quality of living for Philadelphia citizens. She felt that Gesu School exemplified the importance of providing a strong foundation of educational excellence and engagement in the early years of all children’s development. She particularly admired the school’s commitment to justice and service and its philosophy of addressing the individual needs of each student.
Mrs. Hamilton’s legacy of philanthropy in the Philadelphia region continues with the Hamilton Family Charitable Trust, which includes two generations of the Hamilton family. Twelve family members meet regularly to support non-profits that offer effective and equitable educational opportunities for students in grades K-12. The organization believes that our citizens’ ability to compete in a global economy depends upon today’s students having universal access to quality literacy-based and STEM programs that result in readiness for college success and the development of relevant job skills.
The Hamilton family salutes the high-quality educational experiences and unconditional support that Gesu School offers to all students of all faiths and talents. From the outstanding leadership of President and CEO Bryan Carter and Principal Sr. Ellen Convey, IHM, to the dedication of the school’s superior teachers and staff, to the loving and concerned parents and guardians, to the 450 unique and resilient students, HFCT has proudly supported Gesu School, a bright light in North Philadelphia, for 20 years.
Stephen and Cheri Ziegler originally hail from Bucks County and currently reside in Sarasota, Florida. Their passion for philanthropy spans 20 years and has touched countless lives. The Zieglers’ joy for family and giving is reflected in their commitment to transforming communities, particularly through education. They established The Z Foundation to impact organizations ranging from hospitals to Veterans associations and food banks.
The Zieglers’ connection with Gesu began through an introduction by a friend. After they sponsored their first student via the Sponsor a Child program, their dedication to our community blossomed. Over the past decade, the family has created their Gesu legacy of giving by sponsoring five additional students. Their genuine love for Gesu students inspired them to help launch our One Day Challenge in 2015. For seven years, their gifts have spearheaded this essential fundraising effort, raising more than $430,000 and yielding exponential growth for Gesu’s annual fund. This generosity directly addresses Gesu’s infrastructure and most pressing needs, from maintaining our building to paying teacher salaries. Gesu School is proud to honor the Zieglers’ impact and dedication to our school’s mission with the 2021 Spirit Medal.
About the James F. Higgins '45 Distinguished Alumni Award
To recognize alumni achievements, Gesu created the James F. Higgins ’45 Distinguished Alumni Award, named for beloved alumnus, 2017 Spirit Medalist, and Trustee James F. Higgins. We look forward to honoring many alumni who embody Jim’s legacy through their success, heart, Gesu pride, and dedication.
We are proud to honor Jonathan Jackson ‘99, Gesu Lead Counselor, alumnus, and Gesu parent. As students and families faced unprecedented challenges this year, the support that Gesu counselors provided has been critical. During the pandemic, Gesu families have been coping not only with quarantine, but also with loss, illness, unemployment, financial uncertainty, and other trauma. As a Gesu alumnus, Mr. Jackson forges deep personal connections with parents, students, and staff. He directly addresses community issues that can affect families, from poverty to systemic racism. Mr. Jackson is a true hero who has expanded Gesu’s counseling program. He embodies excellence in leadership and advocacy. Mr. Jackson is the epitome of the “Gesu Difference."